Four Questions: A Blog Hop

About a week and a half ago, a friend of mine, Kayla, asked me to participate in a blog hop, and since I need to do something to get back in the groove of frequent blogging, and considering the fact that I’m on summer break, I decided to participate.

What am I working on?

Currently, I am writing the last chapter of the sequel to Three SeventeenTo Catch a Wolf. I know I’ve been saying it would be out soon since this time last year, but take heart loyal readers. Your patience will be rewarded.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

To Catch a Wolf, like its predecessor is a YA/new adult fantasy novel, but even though it is targeted at teens and twenty-somethings, it has less of a pop lit or light read construction than others of its kind. Don’t misunderstand: fluff-lovers come one, come all. You’ll still find the expected fantastic, romantic, and suspenseful aspects that you’re looking for. I’m simply admitting that before I was a published author, I was and continue to be an English teacher who enjoys the presence of literary devices like complex plot structure, symbols, imagery, etc. in the texts I read, and I’m hoping some of my audience does too.

Why do I write what I do?

I blame S.E. Hinton. As long as I have been able to read and write, I have known I was a writer and wanted to be a published author. When I was in the 9th grade, we read The Outsiders in English. I loved it and wanted to know all about its author, this Hinton guy. As some may know, S.E. Hinton is a female who wrote that novel (her mainstream debut) when she was in high school and had it published when she was a college student. That she was able to accomplish what amounted to my own lifelong dream made me believe that I could do so as well. The Outsiders is realistic YA, and so are my books, to a point. I believe that in order for readers to accept and immerse themselves in the fictional world of a book (especially one with a fantastic element), everything contained therein should be as realistic as possible, so even though my Three Seventeen books involve a shape-shifter, the characters and world surrounding the unbelievable shape-shifter part feel as real as they can to my audience. Hopefully, this makes the readers’ job of suspending their disbelief easy and enjoyable.

How does my writing process work?

To begin writing, I must have time to write and a computer. I have handwritten an entire novella before, but that was because it was begun at a writing camp where I had no access to a laptop. Since I now have two at my disposal, I can’t imagine writing a whole manuscript with pen and paper. That would be tedious indeed. Occasionally I will outline a book or draft a scene or two on paper if I’m not at my laptop or think jotting something by hand will be quicker than typing, but the drafting and editing is all done on computer. I never start writing something that I haven’t planned an ending to, though sometimes the ending of the final draft differs from the one in the outline. Also, I usually write the scenes and chapters in chronological order, unless I have writer’s block and have to write around it by skipping ahead. However, I try to follow Hemingway’s rules, one of which is to always stop writing when you know what’s coming next, because that seems to help minimize my blocks. I mean, he may be a pig, and an American, but there’s a reason Hemingway is still a household name, right? He didn’t win a Nobel Prize in Literature for nothing.

Who’s next in my Writing Process Blog Hop?

What’s next? You should check out my friends’ blogs. As I said before, Kayla Shown-Dean is a new author and friend of mine from college. Muted is her current literary novel about family secrets and should be released soon, so keep an eye on her blog! Sara Daniell is also a YA author (who happened to go to high school with me), and she has published several paranormal books that are especially fun reads. And if you’re a fan of YA novels involving space travel, you’ll really enjoy my friend Sarah Wofford‘s blog and debut novel, The Unexpected Brightness of Space.  Finally, you should get acquainted with my other hometown friend and fellow paranormal YA author Aaron Slade‘s novel, Colorblind. He doesn’t have a blog, but he does have a Facebook page!

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